Chapter Eight

Going Home

“So let me get this straight, you think that Alti took us back in time, because there was something she needed to do?”

“Yes. She tried to use me, but I wasn’t giving her anything to use. She wants to be ‘The Destroyer of Nations’, but couldn’t because of me,” Xena said.

“Where do you think she is going,” asked Gabrielle.

“To the person who brought her back,” answered Xena. “When we get to Amphipolis, I’ll send word to Hercules to meet us there.”

“Do you know where he is?”

Xena smiled, “Probably wondering why he is in Athens.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Welcome to Athens, Home of the Great Athenian Army

“Hercules, why are we in Athens?” Iolaus asked.

“We are here because —,” Hercules said. He stopped himself when he realized that he didn’t have answer for his friend. “I don’t know why.”

“Did someone send word for us to be here,” Iolaus asked.

Hercules shrugged his shoulders.

“Well, since we are here, we might as well put it too good use. I could use a good meal,” Iolaus said. “Come on, pal.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


“Thank the gods you are home,” Cyrene said. She greeted her daughter with a hug. “We’ve had some problems in the outlands.” She ushered Xena and Gabrielle to a table in her tavern.

“Problems? What sort of problems?” Xena asked.

“A warrior named, Degas,” a villager said. “He should be sliced open and should bleed like a stuffed pig.”

Gabrielle looked at the villager in disgust, then turned her attention back to Cyrene.

“What’s happened so far?” Xena asked with concern.

“No one’s been killed. But Tiberius was seriously wounded in this mornings attack,” Cyrene said. “You didn’t know anything about this?”

Gabrielle looked at Xena.

“We ran into Degas on the pass,” Gabrielle said. “He sure did move up from bandit to warlord in a hurry.”

“You mean you didn’t kill that son of a bitch?” the villager growled.

“I don’t kill everyone fight,” Xena argued. She shook her head. “How long have these attacks been going on?”

“For a few days now. Every morning, a new farm,” the villager said.

“Thank you,” Gabrielle said. She turned her attention back to Xena.

“What about Toris’ farm?” Xena asked.

“He maybe on tomorrow’s list,” Cyrene said.

“I think we should go pay my brother a visit,” Xena said.

“Not until you eat first,” Cyrene announced. She held her arm out to keep the two women from rising up from their chairs.

“I’ll go take of Argo and get word to Hercules,” Xena said.

Her mother looked at her.

“I’ll be back before you know it,” Xena said. She left the tavern.

“I take it she knows Degas,” Cyrene asked.

“All to well,” Gabrielle answered.

“Who is he to her,” Cyrene questioned. Their arrival in town was unexpected. “Was he in her army?”

“No. She’d remember if he was. It’s more complicated than that. I wish we had more time to explain. But Degas is a dangerous person. He has this power,” Gabrielle said.

“This must be serious if you are sending for Hercules,” Cyrene commented.

“Yeah,” Gabrielle replied. She eagerly awaited Xena’s return. She want her where she could keep an eye on her. Their previous adventures was far to scarey and unusual.

Cyrene went back to her work.

Xena returned a few moments later.

“What did you tell Hercules,” Gabrielle asked.

“I told him to come here,” Xena said. “I bet he and Iolaus are probably enjoying themselves in Athens. They won’t remember us being there.”

“If we’ve gone back in time, does that mean Minos — ?” Gabrielle asked.

“I don’t know. We need to this Janus, like you said.”

“And Alti?” Gabrielle cautiously asked.

“She knows we would have followed her. What’s worse, is that she’ll be able to predict what we’ll do to stop her,” Xena said.

“That’s why you sent for Hercules,” Gabrielle said.

“No. I sent for Hercules for a completely different reason. Alti had help. She just didn’t come back all by herself,” Xena said.

“Do you know who?” Gabrielle asked.

“No. But I’ve got a couple of ideas,” Xena said. “It’s getting to be almost sunset, we should go see Toris.”

Gabrielle nodded in agreement. She finished her food then followed Xena.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Visiting Toris

“What do you want me to do,” Toris asked.

“Give them what they want,” Xena ordered.

“Are you nuts?” Toris questioned.

“Degas —,” sighed Gabrielle. “Has this special ability.”

“And you can’t defeat it?” Toris asked. He gave his younger sister a glaring look. He found it hard to believe that Xena was telling him to do this.

“Not here,” Xena said, calmly. She what Degas was capable of. She didn’t want to fight Degas in Amphipolis. She had to draw Degas outside of Amphipolis.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Going to See Degas

“Xena. I didn’t think you would show up,” Degas said.

“Attacking villages isn’t your style Alti,” Xena said.

“You know me. I know you. I take their pain, their fear — but you already knew that didn’t you?”

“You tried to use me, but it didn’t work.”

“Of course. Your pathetic ‘way’ is too strong to be broken. And then, too many people tried to stop you from taking control. Even you did fine a job of trying to stop yourself. Only it made you weaker. Then that friend of yours — well — ruined it again.”

Xena grinned.

“You obviously, you want something,” Alti said.

“So do you. Who helped you Alti?” Xena asked.

Alti laughed. “No. No. You’ll find out soon enough.”

“Was it Oteri?”

Alti didn’t say anything. “You’ll find out soon enough. Go Xena, I don’t want to fight now. I want this to take place later.”

“Of course not,” Xena said.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Night

“Where did you go?” Gabrielle asked. She was sitting by the fire.

“I wanted to check something out,” Xena said. She sat across from her friend.

“What did you find?” Gabrielle asked.

“Nothing of use,” Xena said. She stared into the fire.

“You know where, don’t you?” Gabrielle asked.

Xena let out a slight laugh, “I still don’t who it was. I can tell who it wasn’t. It wasn’t me. I have this feeling,” Xena said.

“I get those too,” quipped Gabrielle. “I think we should get some sleep.” Gabrielle went to her room.

Xena stayed by the fire. Everyone had gone to bed, except her.


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